The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisations of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), have assured that they have stepped up actions to reduce cases of rejection of agriculture produce for exports at the international markets.
Assistant Director in SON, Mr Usman Mohammed said this while speaking at the 2018 National Agricultural Show Symposium in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa State on Wednesday.
Mohammed said the organisation had over 288 different standards on agricultural produce and regretted that most exporters boycott and do not follow guidelines for export.
He said that it was the major reason for the rejection of Nigerian produce at the international market.
According to him, SON has upgraded its standards to comply with international standards.
“We are part of international Organisation of Standardisation, whatever requirement we have concerning exportation; it must go in line with our standard.
“The first thing to do is to inform SON of your intentions that is the product you want to export and the country you want to export to, then we will carry out inspection on the commodity you want to export, carry the test and ensure that your product meet the minimum requirement of the standard.
“Once we are able to confirm that, we will give you a certificate which will enable you to have SON logo on your product; with this you can export your products.
“This standard can be reviewed from time to time,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Deputy Director, Ports Inspection Directorate of NAFDAC, Abuja, Mrs Carol Obelle, urged exporters to comply with policy and safety standards both locally and internationally.
According to her, NAFDAC only certify semi-processed and processed agricultural produce which directly affects the health of citizens.
“In other to improve competitiveness, quality and safety of our food products, ensure zero rejection at the international market and develop market, the exporters must comply with policy and safety standard both locally and internally in line with country export requirements,’’.
Also, Dr Abiodun Akinjo, the Director, Animal Quarantine of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), appealed to exporters and prospective exporters to come to the service for proper registration and traceability.
Abiodun said that the pytho -sanitary certificate issued by the service was to ensure adequate sanitary measures of agricultural products.
Earlier, Dr Samuel Negedu, National Coordinator of the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), the organisers of the show, said the theme of the symposium was ` Strategies for Promoting Export of Agricultural Products’.
Negedu noted that prospective players or exporters lacked information to facilitate market development, transportation and export.
He appealed to relevant agencies to provide information channels to enable farmers, exporters and other actors to know what is required of them to embark on exports.
The agriculture show commenced on Oct. 16 and would end by Oct. 19.